How climate teams can leverage AI in 2024

April 15, 2024

Professionals around the world are using AI tools to write, code, generate realistic photos, and more. But many climate and ESG teams are left wondering: how can we leverage artificial intelligence to do our jobs better?

We’ve identified three ways AI can help climate teams achieve their goals.

Let’s dive in.

But first: What is AI?

Most of us understand that artificial intelligence has something to do with computer models, automation, or even robots — but here, we’ll break down what it means for our purposes.

When we talk about artificial intelligence, we’re talking about computational models that are trained by humans to pull, sort, and summarize relevant data from a wide variety of sources.

At Manifest Climate, this means natural language processing (NLP) models and large language models (LLMs) that scour the web for public climate disclosure reports, pull both qualitative and quantitative data from those reports, and file it in easily filterable databases so that climate teams can check up on how themselves, their peers, and entire industries are disclosing around particular topics or complying with particular standards or frameworks.

The advantages here are numerous. The first is speed; computer models can scour reports and pull relevant information in seconds (try doing that as a human!). This speed inevitably leads to scale — when it’s so quick to analyze a single report, you can analyze far more (thousands). Greater scale means a greater variety of data sources, leading to more accurate insights. AI models are also vastly more consistent than humans, who might complete a research exercise once but have trouble finding the time to stay up to date and on top of new disclosures in real time. Consistency is critical for climate teams, because it equates to business continuity and evolving insights. And, putting models on the job means climate research is no longer a time-intensive, administrative burden.

Sounds appealing? Here’s a look at how you can start working with AI models to make progress on your climate journey.


AI can help climate teams make sense of what their peers or sectors are doing in a particular climate area.

Right now, it’s very difficult for climate teams to assess what their competitors or companies in their sector are doing on specific climate matters. Sure, they can hunt down ESG reports and CTRL+F for keywords, but it’s time-consuming, disjointed, and rarely leads to a clear and actionable end result. Information is fragmented in different places and different topics.

If a climate team wants to find out, for example, exactly how their top competitors plan to phase out coal or how many categories of Scope 3 emissions their climate target includes, that’s a difficult task to achieve at scale. It’s certainly not the kind of task that’s best suited to human team members.

When humans do attempt this kind of work, each team member will analyze this information differently, leading to inconsistencies from researcher to researcher.

Manifest Climate uses AI to generate highly specific, topic-related insights. It aggregates competitor and industry data into a database that allows team members to investigate by sector, filter by topic, or search by keyword. You can query the database to find best practice examples from your sector or industry on any particular climate topic, and view dozens of highly relevant results in an instant — a feat that is virtually impossible without this kind of AI-based technology.

What’s more, not all material climate information is quantitative, structured data. Many climate disclosures call for qualitative information around such topics as board governance or climate risk — and manually searching for and comparing this information from company to company is nothing short of chaotic. Manifest Climate uses AI to create comparability out of chaos, adding consistency and comparability to the ‘gray areas’ of climate reporting.

AI is also the best way to conduct climate research, over time, and get a consistent result every time — no matter who on your team is responsible. The best climate teams need access to the best information in order to close their climate gaps. And the only way to access information of the kind of quality, quantity, relevance, and speed that climate teams require is with some kind of AI-powered tool.


Climate teams can use AI for specific research requests

Best practice examples

Oftentimes, the tasks that are assigned to climate teams have no precedent. No one at the company has ever conducted a materiality assessment before, or compiled a transition plan, or disclosed under a particular standard or framework. And starting from scratch is tough for anyone.

The best climate teams know that someone, somewhere, has done this before — and they use the right tools (read: Manifest Climate!) to find it. Manifest Climate, with thousands of public climate disclosure reports in the system, can help your team find best practice examples of a number of climate-related action items and disclosures in minutes. You can search for examples from particular companies and industries, and quickly refer to particular guidance on that action from whichever standard or framework you’re reporting to. Super helpful, and much faster than doing it all from scratch.

Identify material risks and next steps

Robust materiality assessments are the cornerstone of an effective climate strategy, but most of them miss the mark.

In fact, most materiality assessments happen in meetings. For teams without the right tools, this is the best that can be done. But the problem with conducting assessments around a table is that the only risks that end up on paper are those that come to mind during that meeting. Conduct the meeting with two different people or on two different days, and you might get entirely different answers.

What climate teams need is robust tools that help them access unbiased data on which climate risks they should be paying most attention to. Manifest Climate’s Climate Risk Explorer surfaces a climate risk taxonomy that is easy for climate teams to use. This risk taxonomy contains over 30 climate-related risks and opportunities mapped to both physical and transition risks. Risk Explorer makes it clear which risks matter most to companies that closely resemble yours.

Climate poses serious risks and opportunities to all businesses; to conduct risk assessments in this manner is to set the business up for failure. Teams need tools that rise to the gravity of the task at hand.

Identifying governance strategies

With climate initiatives being so new for most companies, figuring out how to operationalize and govern your climate risk management can feel like navigating the wild west. Yet governance is actually the key to lasting climate progress, since no change will stick unless the right incentives are in place.

Climate teams can use Manifest Climate to determine how other companies like theirs are structuring their climate goals and incentives, and which team members are responsible for climate initiatives. Although it may take some customization to develop your own governance strategy, taking a peek under the hood at companies that are further along the journey can offer a huge head start.


Climate teams can use AI as a starting point for responses to climate disclosures.

If you’ve published climate disclosures before, these may lack central, up-to-date data sources or conform to different standards or frameworks than you’re reporting to now.

Climate teams shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel each time a new climate questionnaire, internal document, or sustainability report is due. This is where keeping all your climate data in a central location can be extremely useful. Within Manifest Climate, you can repurpose information from your recent disclosures or from your client profile (a questionnaire you fill in) to fulfill new disclosure requirements.

Our “common language model” de-duplicates similar requirements across various climate standards, reducing redundancy and allowing climate teams to reuse pieces of their disclosure that work for other frameworks. Our platform highlights what language can cover various framework section requirements.

Additionally, the analyses available in our Workspace Summary and Disclosure Index saves auditors, assurers, and compliance and reporting teams countless hours. You’ll no longer need to parse through regulatory documents and your own reports line by line to ensure compliance; instead, the platform flags problem areas for you.

Climate teams must work smarter

Climate teams have a lot of work on their hands. From risk assessment to transition plans to voluntary and mandatory disclosures, a climate team’s work is never done. It makes little sense for small, under-resourced teams to be relying on humans for much of the heavy lifting during research when purpose-built tools can process and surface thousands as many data points in a fraction of the time.

In 2024 and beyond, the best climate teams will spend less time recreating the wheel and more time thinking about the next five, ten, and fifty years of the company’s life.

AI may not have all the answers — but it can certainly make life easier.

Leverage the power of AI with Manifest Climate

Manifest Climate is an AI-powered platform that helps companies close disclosure gaps and supercharge their climate strategies. Our platform is the world’s best at assessing climate disclosures. We help to highlight your climate disclosure and management gaps across multiple standards and frameworks and provide data-driven recommendations for improvement. Our technology helps your team reduce time spent on manual research by 99%, improving precision and consistency as a result.